With a vision and passion for telling the story of rural Maryland, and the professional expertise of preservation architects and engineers, the Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation will embark on a 21st century adaptive rehabilitation project of their 200 year old barn in Allegany County.

In May of 2016, the structures at the Evergreen Hertage center were assessed by historic structures consultant Douglass C. Reed, structural engineers from Keast & Hood, and architects from Cho Benn Holback & Associates:

After detailed analysis of this professionally built 4500 square foot structure, the team concluded that “the chronological history of the Evergreen Barn is worthy of preservation via documentation and rehabilitation. The condition of the stone and timber frame has some areas and components that need to be replaced, but the majority of original components can be restored to good solid condition. The entire building can be reconditioned for assemblies such as classroom gatherings that fit the critical mission of the Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation.”


As a result of the findings of the architecture and engineering teams, the next step is to proceed with the task of restoring and renovating the Evergreen Barn. The vision for the building is to create a multi-purpose historical structure that will use the lower level barn stables to create a farm museum while using the upper level to provide a rustic venue for classes and events.


At Ground: The downstairs stables with their packed dirt floors, exterior stone walls, and log feeding troughs will be used to showcase over 150 of the barn’s farm implements, tools, and artifacts that date back through the past 200 years. Visitors entering these stables will first pass under the barn’s overhead forebay created by the 45 foot long cantilevered wooden beams that traverse the width of the structure. Then visitors will pass through the hand-hewn post doorways that framed Dutch doors that kept farm animals in the barn while allowing open upper doors to provide light and fresh air.  Inside the stables, displays will tell the story of farming long ago.

Second Floor: Visitors will pass through a large doorway onto the original center threshing floor with its 2” thick, foot-wide planks. The hay mows on each side of that floor, which originally had only loose planks to support hay, will now feature similar foot-wide planks to match the center threshing floor.  Visitors will see the Barn’s original timber framing with it hand-hewn beams and American style notched bracing. High above the floor, this 2400 square foot open area room will also retain its bark-covered beams that still support planks for drying tobacco and hay.

Outside: Rustic outbuildings will house “green” self-contained composting toilet rooms and a catering kitchen, as well as a cistern that will use collected rainwater to feed the barn’s dry sprinkler system. This three-season barn will not require central heating or air conditioning, just electricity for power, LED lighting, and ceiling fans/heaters.


The Evergreen Heritage Center rehabilitation project is supported in part by a grant from Preservation Maryland’s Heritage Fund, with additional support from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Community Trust Foundation, and community donations. This Heritage Fund Highlight blog series was written by Janice Keene, president of the Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation. To learn more or get involved, contact the Foundation.